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The Binary Alchemist
binaryalchemist
fma_yaoi

Fic: HALF LIVES, chapter 7: "GODZ" and CONSEQUENCES

binaryalchemist Fic: Half Lives, Chapter 7: “Godz” and Consequences

Author: binaryalchemist 

Rating: R for yaoi sex and references to domestic violence.

Pairing: Roy/Ed, references to past Roy/Hughes. There is a het relationship refered to—but it has gone badly. Very badly.

Genre: Hurt/Comfort, Yaoi romance.

WARNING: This is yaoi. If you aren’t comfortable, don’t read. Wank will be ignored.

There is emphatically no ‘bashing’ here—but Riza is not above a little ‘tough love’ for the sake of two innocent children…

Spoilers: Years have passed since the Father’s Fall (chapter 108)  Things in Resembool have not gone well and Ed has the scars to prove it, seeking healing and refuge in his work at Central Command…but Roy Mustang has never been one to calmly stand by and see his friends hurt…

Chapter 6: http://community.livejournal.com/fma_yaoi/1955468.html

Chapter 5: http://community.livejournal.com/fma_yaoi/1954820.html

Chapter 4: http://community.livejournal.com/fma_yaoi/1954759.html#cutid1

Chapter 3: http://community.livejournal.com/fma_yaoi/1953583.html#cutid1

Chapter 2: http://community.livejournal.com/fma_yaoi/1953116.html#cutid1

Chapter 1: http://community.livejournal.com/fma_yaoi/1952285.html#cutid1

 

 

CHAPTER SUMMARY: Winry has received the most exciting news of her life—the greatest automail studio in Amestris has offered her a job in Rush Valley—but Godz Studio isn’t the only one trying to reach her. So is Colonel Riza Hawkeye—bound for Resembool with a legal document that could change Winry’s life forever. Meanwhile…Ed comes to …grips…with his feelings for Roy.
UPDATE: Since July 11th, HALF LIVES has had OVER 3000 HITS on FanFiction.Net!! Thanks for reading!!

As always, for rueme  for her amazing artwork

 

HALF LIVES Chapter 7:  Godz and Consequences

By The Binary Alchemist, 2010

 

Roy might not make it to the hospital that night. He had called and apologized. Proof that Ed wasn’t the only one cracked in the head. Roy Mustang….apologized?  There had been something in the paper about an issue with the Drachman ambassador, whipping off his shoe and pounding on the table during peace talks and Brigadier General Armstrong laying her hand on her sword hilt. The Fuhrer stepped in personally to calm both parties down.  It was all over the papers how Mustang had physically placed himself between them, risking his safety for the sake of making both furious parties shut up and listen to reason.

            He was sweating and shaking when he called. “Damn,” he muttered softly, “we are so close to signing this treaty…I swear I want to just lock The Ice Queen and the Tsar in the broom closet until they either kill each other, fuck each other or get drunk with each other….and the third is my plan tonight. I’m going to meet with them alone with just our bodyguards and open a bottle of Vodka and see if we can somehow work this bullshit out.” He sighed heavily and Ed could swear he could hear Roy ruffling his hair as he always did when irritated.

            “I’ll be all right,” he reassured Mustang. “Maria Ross is coming over for a chess lesson and she says she’s going to smuggle me in some bratwurst so I can have a decent damned meal for once. That’ s gonna tire me out, so I’ll turn in early.”

            “She and Denny on point tonight?” Roy asked urgently.

            “Quit worrying,” Ed growled, but with no real anger behind it. There was a pause. “The courier sent me a telegram. My letter’s arrived in Resembool and will be delivered to Granny in the morning. She’ll see Winry gets it, I know. And Hawkeye called last night—she and Havoc and Breda will be in Resembool in time for breakfast. They’ll let me know when they’re packed up. Shouldn’t take long.”

            Roy took a deep breath. “She’ll call you.”

            “Probably will.” Ed agreed. “And I will listen. And I will tell her not to forget that crate of Dad’s old notes in the cellar. I’m keeping those.”

            There was quiet breathing shared over the line. “All right,” Roy said at last. “If I don’t get there tonight—“

            “—wake me  when you get here if I’m still asleep—but don’t kill yourself. Take care of this Drachma shit, okay?” Ed asked softly. “We can do without another goddamned war. I’m not going anywhere. Promise?

            “Promise.” Roy’s voice became low, nearly a purr that Ed could feel right to the pit of his stomach. “See you then.”  

One hand crept under the pillow and touched Aunty Chris’ book again. The other hand slid down a taut belly to greet what had risen under his gown. “Life only flows in one direction…” Ed whispered to the empty chair beside his bed, imagining who would be lying there soon. He nuzzled the pillow. There were still faint traces of Roy’s shampoo and scent. He dug the book out, flipped to page 56 and imagined it was Roy’s hand and not his own, stroking slowly, teasing him, biting him gently on the neck and shoulder, a rock-hard chest rubbing against his own….

 

            She couldn’t move. She didn’t dare breathe. The letter in her hand was already damp with sweat and tears. She hadn’t seen this coming. She had not seen this coming.

            She had snatched the letter out of Granny’s hand, thundered up the stairs to her workshop, slammed and locked the door and checked the address again and again before ripping into the envelope with shaking hands because, for better or worse, this letter would change her life forever….

            Winry—

            It seems like forever since we’ve talked. Things have changed here and after a great deal of consideration I think its time to approach you with this.

            I have been licensed as a branch of the legendary Godz Automail Studio. I think you understand the significance of this. I need a partner. I can’t do this alone. I am offering you a full partnership in the new studio. In a few years you may be able to buy into the franchise, adding the cachet of Godz to the Rockbell name.

            I’ve found a lovely house that would suit the needs of your family. I need to know as soon as possible what your answer is. Truthfully, sweetie, I can’t do this without you. Think of all you can accomplish here---and pack your bags for Rush Valley—and give my best to Edward and the children. Looking forward to see him when he’s NOT in serious danger for once!

 

            Love and kisses,

            Garfiel

 

            When she finally found her breath, she screamed. She pounded back down the stairs, swept up her grandmother in a fierce embrace and began jumping up and down, squealing and sobbing with joy.

            Pinako thumbed some more  tobacco into her pipe. “You gonna do it?” she asked softly.

            Winry’s eyes went wide. “Do it?? DO IT??? Granny—didn’t you hear me?? This is GODZ STUDIO!!! Only the greatest automail engineers in the world! And they want me!  Where are my shoes—can you watch the kids—I’ve got to send a telegraph directly to Godz to let them know when I can get down to Rush Valley to sign the contracts---do me a favor and call Mr. Garfiel, will you? His number’s on the board. Tell him I’m on my way to get the tickets and to the telegraph office!”

                        She was out the door, snatching Ed’s keys off the rack so she could take the car he’d left for her use.

            There were three other letters, unread, that she’d jammed in her pocket. A flyer for a metallurgist’s conference. An order for a replacement toe joint for a six year old—she’d work on that tonight…and one from Ed.

            Ed’s letters were…well, to be honest, they were boring. How are you? How are the kids? Heading here. Traveling there. Will see you in a few weeks..months…whatever.

Signed simply Ed.

            She’ll respond after she’d contacted Godz and bought her tickets to Rush Valley. Hmmm—she ought to call the Curtises too. Izumi regarded herself as Maes and Nina’s grandmother, after all. Yes, maybe if Ed could tear himself away from it all they could meet in Dublith to celebrate her brand new life…their brand new life…

 

            Pinako sat down heavily and wiped her brow on the hem of her apron. There was a bit of moisture on her cheek. A drop of it in the corner of her eye. Not that she was crying. Too much to do. Orders to fill. Refits to measure. Kids to keep out of buckets of spare parts and cans of metal cement. She needed a minute, though. Her health was good as ever, but the pain in her heart seemed to increase with every hour, every time the phone rang.

            Knox had called after Ed’s surgery. “Accident or not—she’s damned lucky he’s not pressing charges,” the doctor told her tersely.  “Clot’s out. He’s doing okay, and Mustang never lets him out of somebody’s sight for a moment.

Ed told me he didn’t want anybody to tell his wife but I wore him down until he agreed to let you know.”

            Granny’s eyes had darted to the pictures of two little blonde boys proudly showing off the measly minnow at the end of their fishing line. Her eyes became moist. “I love that boy. Love him like he was mine. But kids are gonna do what kids are gonna do. She made up her mind long ago.”

            “Sounds like she made up his mind for him.”

            “Some, maybe,” she acknowledged. ‘He thought it would make her happy. And now what they did have all their lives…it’s …” She couldn’t go on.

            “Time will tell,” Knox finished. “For now, he’s gonna stay put at the Palace. Mustang will keep him in line, even if it takes handcuffs and leg irons. Ed will be back on his feet within the month. And then those two have some serious talking to do---and I may be stickin’ my nose in someone else’s business—but there ought to be some neutral parties there—just to make sure nobody gets pissed off and all my repair work doesn’t get undone.”

            She poured herself a shot of whiskey and knocked it back. Then she dialed the hospital room extension Knox had given her.

 

            It was not a long conversation. He sounded exhausted. He sounded sad, although he was glad to hear from her and cheered up considerably at the sound of his kids laughing and stampeding through the house in the background.  No, she told him. Winry hadn’t read the letter yet. She’d heard from Godz Studio and was offered the chance of a lifetime for a new start in Rush Valley.

            Good.” There was relief in that word. Finality. Pinako’s heart sank.

            “You’re not coming back?”

            Ed hesitated. “We need to sign the papers at the Magistrate’s office. Take my name off the family registry. And we need to decide what to do for the kids. I’m a shitty father,” his voice had a note of poignant regret. “They deserve better. But if she’s going to be running a studio with Godz…Maes and Nina….what’s to become of them? Will they stay with you, Granny?”

            It broke her heart, those next words. “No. Ed….I’m old. I raised my sons. I raised Winry—and you and Alphonse. I’m sorry….but as much as I love these kids….I can’t do it.  I’m sorry….”

            “Don’t be,” he told her quickly. “Winry and I will…find some way…some answer.”

            “But…not together.”

            “Granny,” Ed’s voice was very, very soft. “Were we ever really together? From the day she cried at the train station when I left—when I thought, ‘hey, it could work…half a life for half a life….’ We fucked it up good, didn’t we? Now we can’t go back to being family or friends anymore.” She heard the sound of a fist hitting what sounded like a table top. “Goddamn it,”  Ed shouted, “why the fuck didn’t we just…let things be the way they always were? I lost my best friend. I lost my sister.  I look in her eyes and all I see is another person I’ve let down.. And I’ll let the kids down too…and…and…”

            “Stop right there.”  Her voice was sharp as a slap across the cheek. Enough was enough. “I’ve heard her side—and I’ve heard yours. And I agree with you—make a clean break. Take care of the kids, make a clean break…don’t let the anger creep into this. Give each other time and space to grow. And maybe…in time…that friendship will heal.”

 

            “Lieute—Colonel Hawkeye!” Winry rushed up the sidewalk, flushed and bright eyed and jubilant.  She decided not to telegram—she called Godz herself and was thrilled to learn they would be sending her the contracts in three days. She’d called Garfiel and the two had run up quite a phone bill, eagerly catching up and making plans—she would move into his atelier until she found a proper house of her own, and how he couldn’t wait to meet her children. She’d sent a telegram to Central to Mustang’s office—Sheska could probably find where Ed was on the road, and another to the Amestrian Embassy in Xing to let Al know the good news. Running into Riza Hawkeye was like the cherry on the top of it all—to share it with an old friend.

            Only her friend wasn’t smiling. Winry hugged Riza impulsively, so eager to share the wonderful news from Rush Valley. The Colonel stiffened. “Winry Rockbell Elric? I’m sorry, but you’ll have to come with us.”

            Us?

            Heymans Breda stepped quickly to her side. “Ma’am.” He touched his forehead respectfully. Then he held up a pair of handcuffs.

            Winry stared at Riza. She stared at Breda. She shook her head slightly. “What?” Her old friends didn’t smile. Hawkeye reached into her breast pocket and withdrew a folded document with the words WARRANT OF ARREST.

            Beneath that, she read her full married name.. And the authorization stamp of His Excellency Fuhrer Roy Mustang and the signature of Dr. Owen Knox, MD.

            “The restraints won’t be necessary if you cooperate and come quietly.”

            Winry didn’t move. She didn’t blink. None of this was sinking in.

            “In accordance to Amestrian State Criminal Code, section 2-C, the State of Amestris has issued a Warrant of Arrest for Winry Rockbell Elric on the grounds of aggravated assault with intent to cause bodily injury to Edward Elric, resulting in head trauma and brain injury—“

            The pavement began to wobble beneath her feet.

“Defendant Winry Rockbell Elric  is accused of violating a section of our law that reads as follows:

A person is guilty of aggravated assault if he/[she] attempts to cause or purposely or knowingly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon, defined as any and all instruments, firearms or edged blades which can cause death or serious injury when wielded with sufficient force or firepower…”

“He wrote me a letter.” Her hand went to her pocket. “I haven’t read it.”

Hawkeye continued. “Under this statute, the defendant can be found guilty if he/she EITHER caused bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon OR attempted to cause bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon.

To find the defendant guilty of causing bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the following elements:

1. that the defendant caused bodily injury to another; and

2. that the defendant caused the bodily injury by use of a deadly weapon; 3. that the defendant acted purposely or knowingly.

            She tore open the letter as if she couldn’t hear them. Her eyes darted frantically over words like regret and signature and joint custody. And moving to Central.  And you can keep the car. Havoc will take care of the rest of it.

            And amicable divorce.

            And somewhere, droning in the background came the calm voice of Colonel Riza Hawkeye. 

“…We, the State, will prove beyond a reasonable doubt is that defendant caused bodily injury to Mr. Elric, resulting in laceration, concussion, fracture of the skull and a subdural hematoma to the right side of the brain requiring surgical intervention…”

 

Ed…divorce…warrant…arrest…assault…”It…it was just a wrench. Just a wrench. It’s…not like…I’ve done it a dozen times.” There was a sick buzzing in her head.

Breda snapped the cuffs on her wrist. He cleared his throat.

“In accordance with Section 6, paragraph 27 of the Child Protection Act, any person arrested for acts of criminal violence with dependant children will have them removed by family service agents and remanded to protective foster care until such time as the State determines the fitness of the accused to care for them in a safe and trustworthy manner.” He stepped back and Hawkeye laid a gentle hand on her shoulder. “Your children were removed from your home half an hour ago. They are under protective custody. I give you my word, you can see them before we go.”

“Go….? Go…where?” Winry whispered in stunned confusion.

Hawkeye gestured to the car waiting at the curb. “The State Women’s Correctional Institution. You’ll remain there until your hearing and until your trial.”

Winry sagged against the Colonel as she was guided into the back seat of the police sedan, where she promptly threw up all over the back seat and began sobbing for her children.

 

Twenty minutes later, the police car made a u-turn back to Resembool. It stopped in front of the Funny Bear Ice Cream Parlor.

            In the back seat, the cuffs were unsnapped. A clean handkerchief wiped her face clean. “They are waiting to see you,” Hawkeye told her quietly. “All they know is that you’re going on a trip and they’ll stay with their grandmother. Let’s go.”

 

            Pinako and Jean Havoc were having the time of their lives. Nina had smeared half a scoop of strawberry ice cream on the Major’s head and was giggling madly. Maes had a milkshake and was blowing bubbles with his straw, splashing chocolate all over the table. When he saw his mother, he crowed with delight and flung out his arms. “MAMA!!!!”

            Winry crushed him to her heart and began to sob so hard that Breda, Havoc, Pinako and Hawkeye exchanged looks, and the warrant was drawn out of Hawkeye’s pocket.

            “Winry. Winry.” Reddened eyes glanced over Maes’ tousled thatch of unruly blonde hair.

            The warrant was unfolded.

            The blank that read plaintiff, Edward Elric was unsigned.

            It  was passed to Pinako. “I’ve got a message from Ed,” she told her granddaughter.

            She ripped the document in half and laid the pieces in Winry’s hands.  “He had every right in the world to press charges, send you to jail and take your kids. But he realized that you’re a better person than that. You hurt him—you could have killed him, but he stills sees the best in you. That’s why he’s giving you a chance to start a new life in Rush Valley.”

            Winry thought about the boy she knew—the boy who wouldn’t let her kill Scar. The boy who wouldn’t let Mustang kill Envy for fear of what it might do to Roy’s soul. The man who lay in agony in a hospital from a wound caused in a fit of exasperation. A man who could forgive.

            A man who…maybe…one day….could be her friend again.

            “T-thank you,” she whispered. “Thank you for loving me enough to…”

            “You’re welcome,” said Colonel Hawkeye, ignoring the sharp sting of tears that threatened her composure. “Now,” she said decisively, “whose brilliant idea was it to let that child blow bubbles in his milkshake??”

            Major Havoc winked at Maes. “Remember what I told you, kiddo?”

            “YAH!” Maes shouted. “UNKA JEAN MADE ME DO IT!!!”

 

…..TO BE CONTINUED…..

           

 

 

           

 

 

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